Clowns, flakes, and snake-oil purveyors have made this year’s Republican primary contest into a carnival side show.
* Michele Bachmann: wants to abolish the EPA.
* Newt Gingrich: says an electromagnetic pulse could shut down the U.S.A.
* Jon Huntsman: Condoleezza Rice plays Bach, He plays rock.
* Ron Paul: would give us the right to smoke pot, sniff cocaine, shoot heroin.
* Rick Perry: Duh... !
* Mitt Romney, “Corporations are people, my friend.”
* Rick Santorum: endorsed by Sarah Palin.
Two of the above are believable candidates: Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney, but Huntsman is like a colorless clone of Mitt Romney, so anyone inclined to vote for him will likely flutter to Romney.
Romney’s probable candidacy prompted the New York Times to give him a three-page spread. Most know that he went to Harvard, but not that he was a straight A student who earned degrees in both Law and Business, and that as a graduate student, married with two kids, he paid no attention to the C-student frat brat one year behind him—George W Bush. He later said that if he’d known where Bush, “was gonna go, I would have been on him like white on rice,” Many people kiss up to power, but few come right out and admit it. It may be the only honest admission he’s made, including telling Sean Hannity that his liberalism as governor of Massachusetts, was “a mistake.” Now, desperate to calm Tea Party ideologues, he’s crawling Right as fast as hands and knees allow.
The New York Times portrait is of a man as data-driven as a computer, “a gifted fix-it man... eager to deliver what customers wanted.” He's also one untouched by emotional issues like the war in Vietnam. This well served his drive to succeed in business by really trying. He’s often heard to say that as a business man he “understands how the economy works.” Nobel prize-winning economists would never make that claim.
If candidate Romney is willing to say whatever voters want to hear, what will President Romney do at the reins of power? That’s something to generate Radical Right nightmares. It might also be what gives Obama the edge he needs to eliminate the question entirely.